Meet the 25-year-old Imam from South London who helped raise £1 million for 10 British charities last year

Source: My London

As he dreams of world peace, Adeel Shah wants to change people’s perceptions of Islam

By Darcy Jimenez

Adeel Shah studied for seven years before becoming an Imam.  The Muslim Times’ Chief Editor’s comment: If the Muslims should be raising money for the British charities then it should be self evident that the Muslim theology should obsess over our universal brotherhood and sisterhood and not our sectarian differences, with this in mind I have suggested some additional readings below:

The first building you see as you approach Morden’s Baitul Futuh, one of the largest mosques in Western Europe, is adorned with silver lettering that reads “Love for all, hatred for none”.

This is the motto of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a revival movement founded in 1889 that seeks to emphasise, among other values, peace.

I am here to meet 25-year-old Adeel Shah, one of the youngest Imams in Britain. An Imam is an Islamic leader, and Adeel studied for seven years to take on the role.
As an Imam, Adeel leads his community in their efforts to raise money for charity and help those in need.

“We do litter picking, blood drives, tree planting. We visit the sick and elderly in care homes and hospitals,” he says. “Every November we’re at supermarkets and train stations collecting for the Royal British Legion, the Poppy Appeal.

“Last year, we held a fundraising event that we do every year, and raised £1 million for 10 British charities.”

Suggested reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Nobel Prize for a noble woman

Refuting Islamophobia: Demystifying ‘the Other’ by Harris Zafar

PM New Zealand: ‘The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy are just like one body’

Video: Prince William Draws Upon Princess Diana’s Death In Powerful Speech in New Zealand Mosque

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

A Message of Compassion and Love from the Holy Bible

True Fasting: A Message of Compassion and Love from the Old Testament

Abou Ben Adhem, A Compassionate Man

‘Love Hormone,’ How it works in Hospitality?

‘Love Hormone’ Oxytocin May Enhance Feelings Of Spirituality

Community is at the heart of the Ahmadiyya mosque. Not only is the mosque itself funded and run by volunteers and donors, but so are its radio and TV stations.

Every year, the mosque hosts the National Peace Symposium, an event where up to 1,000 guests – including political and religious leaders – gather to promote and propose a means to achieving world peace.

In addition to leading charitable work, Adeel considers it his duty to work to foster understanding between Muslims and the wider community.

“The seven years of studying focus on comparative religion, and then developing qualities that we can use when we go into communities to become assets and cause cohesion,” he explains.

“We also do interfaith programmes; we invite our local neighbours, different religions, or even those with no religion, to come and speak together. We try to find ways in which we can build bridges.”

Tolerance and community cohesion is desperately needed. Research has found that racism has risen significantly since the Brexit referendum, and between January and December of last year, the Met Police recorded 1,175 Islamophobic hate crimes.

“Islamophobia isn’t the norm in the UK,” Adeel says. “There are pockets of areas where you might find Islamophobia, but those areas can be challenged by education. Because education always breeds tolerance.

“You need education that allows bridges to be built – and the bridges are probably already there, it’s just that once you make that contact and communication, the bridge automatically connects.”

After the 2017 Westminster Bridge attack, during which an Islamist terrorist injured 50 people and killed four, Adeel and others in his community attended a vigil wearing T-shirts that read “I am a Muslim, ask me anything”.

He recalls a passer-by angrily asking him why he was there, but after a discussion about Islam and Ahmadiyya Muslims’ role in the community, the man ended up hugging him.
“But after the hug, he said something which was really eye opening – scary, in fact,” Adeel tells me. “He said ‘I’ve been living in London for nine or 10 years, and this is the first time I’m speaking to a Muslim’.”

Read further

 

2 replies

  1. Once many people get off their whole going around calling eachother racist addictions you’ll notice people beginning to work together more from all sides.

    They should stick to feeding the poor and what not to earn more positive images that way.

  2. If the Muslims should be raising money for the British charities then it should be self evident that the Muslim theology should obsess over our universal brotherhood and sisterhood and not our sectarian differences, with this in mind I have suggested some additional readings in the post above.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.